We strive to create a space where everyone can feel both free and safe, for an experience as enriching, enjoyable and inspiring as possible.
IOCC is a space where people with any degree of interest or experience in ethical open relationships can safely share, learn and connect with like-minded individuals.
“Ethical open relationships” = intimate relationships based on a foundation of mutual trust that does not require sexual or emotional exclusivity.
We consider the principles of respect, inclusiveness regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and non-patriarchy as essential for a healthy non-monogamous culture.
You need a clear mind at all times to respect this Code of Conduct, so be responsible in the consumption of alcohol and avoid any substances that may impair your judgement.
Respect for personal space and consent
Participants’ personal space, consent and agency must be respected at all times. Boundaries are different for everyone, so please be careful and respectful when approaching another participant, especially when:
- Hugging, caressing or touching in any way,
- Proposing sensual or sexual activities,
- Starting conversations on sensitive topics,
- Displaying live or recorded acts of an explicit nature,
- Joining in or watching others being intimate,
- Asking about private details.
This list is not exhaustive, and necessarily leaves many concepts open to interpretation, such as “sensitive”, “intimate”, or “private”. We cannot stress enough the importance of communication and active listening.
Everyone has their own way of saying “no” and many people have trouble giving an explicit, firm negative answer: as a general rule, everything that is not an enthusiastic “yes” actually means “no”.
If another participant declines an invitation, repeated requests are considered a violation of their consent and stated boundaries.
Finally, remember that a person’s past consent to a certain activity is not an implicit acceptance of their future participation in the same activity.
Workshop facilitators must ensure they communicate clearly about the nature of each workshop upfront, and obtain consent from all participants on potentially sensitive aspects of the activity (either emotionally or physically sensitive; a check-list will be provided for guidance). Workshop participants too are responsible for ensuring that during the activity they remain within the limits of consent agreed by the group.
Respect for privacy
Non-monogamy is still a delicate issue in many social environments, and disclosing a non-monogamous lifestyle could result in severe consequences. All participants have a right to privacy, including:
- Not being photographed or recorded without prior consent,
- Keeping any or all personal information private,
- Trusting the content of conversations and workshops will not be disclosed to other participants or outside the event.
Naturally, participants’ consent can override these rules, but please ask for it explicitly case by case and do not take it for granted.
Personal responsibility and awareness
We are collectively responsible for creating a safe and welcoming environment:
- Pay attention to yourself and to the other participants to make sure everybody is doing well,
- Ask for support if you need it, and offer support to others if you think they need it.
All participants are adults, and are ultimately responsible for their own health and safety (getting ill or having an accident) and civil liability (breaking something or someone).
- Check if you are covered by insurance (e.g., associated with your credit card), and if not, please consider getting travel insurance,
- If coming from an EU country, bring your European Health Insurance Card,
- If travelling alone, feel free to give the organisers the contact details of someone we should reach in case of emergency.
Different participants have different levels of English fluency, which creates a communication advantage for those who are more fluent.
If you speak multiple languages, consider helping with on-the-spot translation as needed. Speak clearly, not too fast, and avoid jargon or culturally specific references to ensure that others can understand you.
Conversely, remember that English is the only language common to all the participants. All workshops should therefore be in English, so that anybody can participate.
Even outside workshops, make an effort to always speak in a language that can be understood by all the people present, to avoid creating language-specific groups that exclude other participants.
What to do if the Code of Conduct is not respected
If you feel that someone is breaking the Code of Conduct in any way, please point it out to them, if you feel comfortable doing so, and/or talk to one of the event organisers.
We reserve the right to ask a participant to leave IOCC immediately if we believe that a serious code of conduct violation has occurred, or if we consider that they are a threat to the well-being of other participants. In that case, no refund will be offered.
We reserve the right to refuse the registration to an IOCC of anyone who has not respected the Code of Conduct in a previous meeting.